Colorful tiles on the roof of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna

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A paper figurine, dance and a milieu study in The Rhythm of Vienna

129 concepts from 28 different countries were submitted, all of which aimed to encapsulate Vienna’s unique ambience and the rhythm of the city in a short film with a maximum running time of five minutes. The expert jury, comprising the Austrian actor Karl Markovics, Vienna Film Commission CEO Marijana Stoisits, production manager at Wega Film Ulrike Lässer, and Director of Tourism Norbert Kettner, selected three submissions which stood out from the crowd by virtue of their creativity, professionalism and special take on Vienna. The teams start work on their films on 25 May, at the same time that VIS Vienna Independent Shorts – the nation’s only Oscar® qualifying festival – gets under way, each with a budget of EUR 5,000 and using equipment from the SAE Institute Wien, a higher education institution. “Moving images kindle the desire to travel. Short films are an art form in its own right, and thanks to their length they are predestined for broadcast on social media channels. The competition will generate high-quality film content and – as outlined in the 2020 Tourism Concept – help to position Vienna as a film location,” explained Vienna Tourist Board Managing Director Norbert Kettner. Jury chair Marijana Stoisits continued: “The competition is geared towards professional filmmakers worldwide, which meant that our expectations were high. And they were exceeded by some distance – both in terms of quality and quantity.” Special invitations will be issued for the premiere of the final cuts in September. The best film will be chosen via an online poll at, with prize money of EUR 3,000 going to the winner of the public vote. In line with “In the Rhythm of Vienna”, the capital’s theme for 2017, the Vienna Tourist Board will be showing the three films as part of its international destination marketing on its online channels and at events. They will also be showcased at next year’s VIS Festival, which is Austria’s largest short film, animation and music video festival, as well as at short film festivals abroad.

An alternative view of Vienna: migration, Baroque and popular culture

The winners of the short film competition approached Vienna from very different angles. While Berlin-based Viennese director Franziska Pflaum will use real images in her production, Viennese film maker Wolfgang Matzl prefers a combination of animated and real footage. In their piece, the Austro-British duo Susan Young and Paul Wenninger strike out in the direction of experimental film as they send a dancer around the city in a rhythmic photo and sketch animation. Franziska Pflaum aims to explore Vienna in all its diversity in her project. Pflaum and her crew will tail several protagonists and discover a range of milieus, people and places with them. This concept appealed to the jury due to the way it combined a view from the outside with insider knowledge. Wolfgang Matzl’s animated film recounts the adventures of a small man in the big city. Made of paper, the 20 centimetre-tall man will be shot directly on the streets of Vienna using stop motion animation. The hybrid form, incorporating real locations and cut-out paper figures, offers the viewer a different perspective on the city while creating a special dynamic. The jury was most impressed by the way this concept combined surrealist Baroque history with elements of Viennese pop culture. The short film proposed by animator Susan Young and filmmaker and dancer Paul Wenninger uses a dancer and graphic architectural lines to provide a thematic constant. Its presentation of supposedly Viennese elements as migration-driven tradition captured the jury’s imagination.

Visit for ongoing updates on the various shoots.

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The winners of the short film competition

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